Despite reports early in the offseason that the Seattle Seahawks and Russell Wilson were close to a $US100+ million contract extension, it appears that the two sides are actually nowhere close to a deal.
Recently, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com reported that the Seahawks were offering Wilson a deal comparable to those of Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick. Danny O’Neil of 710 ESPN in Seattle put the value of Seattle’s offer at $US80 million over four years.
That’s a far cry from where Wilson wants his contract to be, which is reportedly at or above the seven-year, $US126.7 million contract signed by Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears, the richest contract in NFL history in terms of total value.
NFL insider Jason Cole of Bleacher Report calls the Cutler contract “the starting point basically for where Russell Wilson wants to be.”
According to Cole, using the Cutler deal as the floor for a new deal was pushed by Wilson’s former agent, Bus Cook, who also represents Cutler. While Wilson has since re-signed with his former baseball agent (who is now also a certified football agent), the split between Wilson and Cook was deemed “amicable” according to Cole. In addition, Cook implored Wilson to get a deal like Cutler’s and to avoid signing a deal like Kaepernick’s or Dalton’s.
While Kaepernick’s contract was reported as a “record” $US126 million contract when it was first signed, the deal turned out to be a complete sham with only $US25.9 million in truly guaranteed money. Dalton’s $US96.0 million contract had even less guaranteed money than Kaepernick ($US17 million).
Meanwhile, Cutler’s deal includes $US54 million guaranteed, a sum exceeded only by Tony Romo ($US55 million guaranteed) and Ndamukong Suh ($US60 million guaranteed), according to Spotrac.com.
With the gap between the two sides this big and with the Seahawks having less than $US11 million in cap space for the 2015 season, it is looking more and more like a deal won’t get done and the Seahawks will have to use the franchise tag (a one-year contract worth the average of the five highest-paid quarterbacks) on Wilson starting in 2016.
If that happens, don’t be surprised if we start to here more about the possibility of Wilson returning to baseball.
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